Billiards Strategy - Defense and Safety Play

This is a hot topic in pool rooms across America

The ages of behind the line 8 ball bread a certain mind state about playing defensive shots in pool. Due to the fact that you could not shoot at a ball that was behind the line, and ball in hand was not an option, a defensive shot was frowned upon in most circles. There have been many a bar fight started over an incident related to this rule, and finally some one had the sense to change it. That occurrence is why I am writing this hub. Hopefully, this information will help to solve any further disputes before they happen.

Defense and safety play

have always been a part of the more technical cue sports. Games like snooker, one pocket, and straight pool all required both offensive and defensive skill to win. As a country, playing bar box 8 ball on those little tables was more curse than blessing. The idea of playing defense is now in purgatory, being understood by some and hated by many. This technique is a beautiful, and legal part of the game. Playing defense can make or break you, especially against a tough opponent. There are so many good things that can be said about defensive play.

The great part of playing safties and defense

is that it opens up your offense. Much like a football expression I like to use, offense sells tickets, and defense wins championships. Making the right decision when you are at the table will decide your fate for you before you bend over on most shots. You will increase your probability for success greatly by knowing when to shoot at it, and when to pass and leave your opponent tough. This knowledge allows you to prevent over working, and attempting low percentage shots. There is usually a relatively easy safety available, and knowing when to use it and when to not will improve your winning percentages. For instance, you have one ball left on the table before the money ball. So does your opponent. However, you have a very tough cut/bank to shoot, or an easy safe. Don't let your pride tempt you to do something wild here. Take a measured roll at the ball and shoot a defensive shot at your opponent. Likely, you will get a much better look at your next shot, and a win once you make your money ball. Pool and billiards are definitely thinking games.


This is just one aspect of pool and billiards. There are many areas of pool that can be studied. Due to my in depth knowledge of the game, I have been writing a series on the how to play pool, and various other hubs about pool and billiards. The most recent one, How To Perform A Legal Jump Shot, can be found in the link. Also, here's a link to hub number 1 in the series of How To Play Pool Like A Pro. I welcome you to look through them, and choose the ones you think will help you. Otherwise, I appreciate you taking the time to read my hub, and hope the advice brings you success.

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Comments 3 comments

AkaashPrasad profile image

AkaashPrasad 3 years ago from Anaheim

I must say, your articles are always fantastic on billiards. Its informative, interesting and brilliant to read here on hubpage.

Cassandra 20 months ago

Articles like these put the consumer in the driver seat-very imonttapr.

rclinton5280 profile image

rclinton5280 20 months ago from Greensboro, NC Author

I appreciate you two taking the time to comment. It's nice to hear from people who appreciates my work.

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